Assurance starts with animal welfare, progresses through the principles of sourcing integrity, paying a fair price and good provenance, H. Dawson and Brannach Olann say

Assurance starts with animal welfare, progresses through the principles of sourcing integrity, paying a fair price and good provenance, H. Dawson and Brannach Olann say

A UK-based wool traceability platform has launched to recognise assurance standards in agriculture and textiles.

The Woolkeepers programme, developed by wool merchant H. Dawson and wool buyer Brannach Olann, is one that enables customers to be assured that the wool product came from good environmental and ethical practice by using a system set up to record the route of the fibre, from farm gate to retail store.

The vision was to rework the conventional supply chain model and to provide British sheep farmers with a new, sustainable and meaningful route to market for their wool.

The Woolkeepers is a wool quality assurance platform which recognises assurance standards in agriculture and textiles. It is narrated by growers and supply chain partners. The concept was designed by H. Dawson and operates as a traceability platform for third party product verification. This enables a community space which raises the profile of British wool through transparency and collaboration. The Woolkeepers core messaging promotes sourcing integrity, traceability and fair price to the farmer.

"This dynamic approach is reinvigorating British wool by allowing farmers visibility as to where their wool ends up whilst rewarding them with a fair price payment," H. Dawson and Brannach Olann said in a joint statement.

"Despite the fall in worldwide wool prices as a result of Covid-19, The Woolkeepers are ensuring that for the 2020 wool season, those farmers involved in the scheme will receive the same payment as the previous season for their wool, which is a great step towards genuine sustainability of supply.

"Certification schemes such as the UK's biggest farm and food standards scheme, Red Tractor Assurance, GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) and EOV (Ecological Outcome Verification) are used as third-party verification models to ensure compliance with topics such as animal welfare, safety, sustainability, soil health and social responsibility. For the first time this is a British model that genuinely encourages British wool growers by supporting their animal welfare and sustainability efforts."